One of the latest recovering COVID-19 patients in the country is two-and-a-half-year-old Shreya Gosine.
She is among several children infected locally—evidence that no one is safe from the virus as warned by health officials.
Her mother, Reya Gosine, 31, believes they were infected on May 21 when they visited a relative to collect supplies for the toddler.
She said the relative was not feeling well and got wet in the rain the day before.
A few days later, she said the relative tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be hospitalised.
Around this time, both she and her daughter began experiencing flu-like symptoms and on May 28, they presented themselves for testing.
But before they could receive the results, Shreya’s condition worsened.
“Friday June 4, I woke up around 4 am and I realised Shreya was roasting with a fever. When I checked it, it was 104 degrees Fahrenheit...I gave her a bath, I gave her some medication and whatnot,” Gosine said.
Normal body temperature ranges in children are between 97.9 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 to 37.2 degrees Celcius). Shreya’s fever was equivalent to 40 degrees Celcius.
Gosine said her daughter also had a blood oxygen level of 89 per cent according to a pulse oximeter. Normal ranges are between 95 and 100 per cent.
After several calls to the hospital went unanswered, she broke their quarantine to go to the San Fernando General Hospital.
It is permissible to break quarantine to seek urgent medical attention, health officials have previously said.
It’s only while there, they confirmed the positive results which is why the decision was made to admit Shreya to the hospital.
They were both transferred to the newly built Point Fortin Hospital which was converted to a COVID-19 treatment facility, coincidentally, on the day she believes she was infected.
The news of being positive terrified Gosine despite preparing mentally for it following the news of the relative’s condition.
“Getting the actual result and it becoming a reality—it was really heartbreaking. I just sat there by the doctor and I just cried. I couldn’t do anything. I was just scared and then seeing her in front of me sick, regardless of what the reason was it was really scary and heartbreaking,” she said.
This was compounded with fears for her own wellbeing as an asthmatic.
“It had really bad moments. I felt helpless. Some people would say this is my fault and I’m such a bad mother—whatever it may be. I had those moments, those feelings even though it could have happened to anybody,” Gosine said.
During Shreya’s four-day stay at the facility, Gosine said they were treated exceptionally by the staff who were visibly overwhelmed and exhausted.
“The treatment was on point. I can’t even express that enough. The nurses were really amazing with us, the doctors as well. They were just on point. 110 per cent,” she said.
She was so satisfied with the treatment that she wanted to publicly thank the paediatricians who saw Shreya—Dr Sookhai, Dr Harripersad, Dr Mohammed, Dr Rock and Dr Abeo.
On Monday, they were sent home to complete seven days of home self-isolation before being released from the Ministry of Health’s care.
She said Shreya is now back to her old self and is recovering well.
Having had their brush with COVID-19, she gives this advice to the public: “If you really don’t need to leave your home, don’t leave. Look what happened, something so simple and this person didn’t have any symptoms. They just said they got wet in the rain.”
Shreya is not the first child to be infected with COVID-19 in the country. The exact figure of children to be infected to date has not been released by the Ministry of Health which also did not respond to queries by Guardian Media.
However, based on figures given by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh in March, there were 21 confirmed cases of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (Mis-C) among infants in Trinidad–a result of COVID-19.
Last year, reports also surfaced of a baby being hospitalised after testing positive for the disease.